Updated: Jan 5
I am all for enjoying the time with family and friends over the holidays without guilt. But the truth is that oftentimes this includes overindulging in foods that aren't quite right for our bodies. The consequences of this show up in many ways from headaches, to digestive problems, to PMS, to the addition of a few pounds.
Now I want to make it clear that I do not believe in doing any punishing diets after such a weekend (or week!). However, I do believe that adding in a few good habits can make all the difference in how our bodies recover.
So enjoy your time with your family and grandmas famous family recipes, make good choices, and then come back to this list to follow these steps if you are feeling some of the aftereffects of overindulging!
Step 1- Optimize Digestion
After a few days of eating all the delicious foods, it is very common to find things moving a little *ahem* slower than usual. This can lead to those common unpleasant symptoms like indigestion, heartburn, and constipation.
After the holidays, it is important to add in fiber-rich foods like fresh fruit, and leafy greens. Also a good probiotic is essential, at least 2 billion CFU's but more is better. This will help to restore the balance of good bacteria, that gets thrown off with excessive sugar and alcohol consumption.
As a preventative, taking a good quality digestive enzyme before meals is an excellent way to help your body process the food you are eating!
Step 2- Restore Nutrients
Certain foods not only are empty of nutrients, but actually cause the body to give up some of its own nutrient stores in order to digest them! Sugar in particular requires the body to give up its own magnesium in order to properly digest it. And for women, magnesium is an especially important mineral as it is required for calcium absorption, hormone balance, mood regulation, and enough of it helps to decrease cramping during your period!
We want to make sure that after the holidays, we don't continue in the holiday eating pattern, but instead start adding in nutrient-dense foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats and protein, while also limiting those foods that rob us of our valuable nutrition.
Step 3- Hydration
Travel, alcohol consumption, and dry air- these can all dehydrate us, leading to dry skin, headaches, and fatigue. After the holidays, focus on consuming half your body weight in ounces of water each day. You can easily dress the water up with lemon or lime juice to make it more interesting if you struggle to get in this amount each day. This is also a great time to make a nourishing and tasty cup of herbal tea!